What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

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daggerdude
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What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by daggerdude »

Daggerfall skills are.... a bloody mess. How can I say that? Hopefully this doesn't sound like rambling, but I thought "what if we took all the elder scrolls games and piecemealed it into daggerfall's broken skillset and revitalize it all?

Arena actually gave freedom through it's roleplaying restrictions, in that you didn't have all the stats to worry about as long as you played your specified role.

Battlespire, while not innovative in it's skills, actually made skills work and brought things back to brass tacks. critical damage actually did critical damage. stabs that were parried stunned you. there were many gameplay things that just clicked in battlespire.

Morrowind had the most thought out classes and skills of all the games, refining everything daggerfall did and made it much more playable, while being a bonafide RPG.

Oblivion went back to the heart of elder scrolls started in arena, and took some of the lessons from morrowind and melded them to be stat based but organic elements of gameplay.

Skyrim let you be whatever you wanted to be, but made you think about your skill progression in terms of how you actually play the game, how you play the role, vs titles or restrictions.

Given thought from then to now, we can learn from the games and make skills actually mean something, but keep the feel and appeal of daggerfall. it can be redone.

Revamping Skills & Classes
Spoiler!
Magic schools of skyrim:

Illusion
Conjuration
Destruction
Restoration
Alteration
Enchanting

The simplification of spell systems and the addition of enchanting and conjuration really offer solid gameplay developments that would fit naturally into daggerfall. The spell formulas are also so much more logical and well thought out than daggerfall.

Smithing
Heavy Armor
Block
Two-Handed
One-Handed
Archery

The truncation of the obnoxious weapon skills really makes life so much simpler, and then having armor as well as smithing and block makes daggerfall a good candidate for these things, using items to repair items or even forge new ones, block chances with shields being like morrowind or even with weapons based on chance instead of a held block.

And weapons now can be balanced on speed, distance, and also individual weapons can be armor piercing or have higher criticals or what have you: short blades can be fast stabbers with high crits, maces can be armor piercers that are slow and average damage yet durable and more likely to hit, axes can deal good criticals yet be short, long blades can vary from blade to blade to favor reach, damage, bonuses, whatever.

Light Armor
Sneak
Lockpicking
Pickpocket
Speech
Alchemy

These skills are boiled down as good as anything for the basis of the thieving skill tree.
Having good candidates in skyrim, we can go back and add skills as needed.

Athletics
Acrobatics
Medium Armor

These morrowind skills made all the different skills more manageable and worth investing in.

There are 9 language skills, all nearly useless in the original game. Why not divide them up into types?

Daedric can consist of all infernal intelligent monsters: all the daedra but also imps, harpies, dragonlings - fantastical and supernatual creatures.
Aedric can consist of all non infernal beings, like centaurs, spriggans, nymphs, giants, and could even include dreughs and lamia.
Nether can include all the undead.
Orcish could remain.

Medical - usable bandages in game and such.
Critical Strike - actually do critical damage this time 3x
Dodging - actually mean someting.
Backstabbing - do 6x damage

All good skills if reworked in their formulas.

Revamping Classes

What Arena got right is that each class fell into a major category and that that category defined their role, which was enforced.

So lets take the Warrior, the Thief, and the Mage. Give 20% to all skills that fall under each category, the new skills falling under them as well, and give them all a bonus to level.

Then, rework vanilla classes to be more like oblivion or morrowind, making more sense, but having no hard "skill" readout, instead having arena class definitions with common sense. some examples.

A Warrior would level quickly because all of his skills are "primary", he has no restrictions other than armor and magic and stealth.
A Rogue would have thiefly skills they would not level quickly in, but a +1.5% per level chance of critical strike and an expertise in short blades and a streetwise reputation to help him get along with merchants and thieves.
A Battlemage would have mostly martial skills, but some magical prowess, destruction based skills having 50% less cost to cast and restoration having 50% more cost to cast, with a 1.5x spell point pool to work with.
A Spellsword would have many martial skills, and magic capacity, but would be overall harder to play.

Certain armor restrictions could apply and max health gain and what not. Which brings me to armor real quick:

Armor being light or medium (chain) or heavy and being damage reductions instead of armor class reductions, and skill being like in Oblivion or morrowind affecting armor chance. That would affect things.

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Kamer
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by Kamer »

Skyrim had classes and skills?

daggerdude
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by daggerdude »

So Skyrim has skills that you invest into and you take a birthstone, like the warrior or mage or thief, and you go play your role. It wasn't labeled, but as you played, you knew what you were.

I feel as though if daggerfall took a more open approach to the skills, like future games, yet still having a defined class like oblivion or morrowind, it might make things better.

The other thing is the skills themselves need to mean more than a statistic, ideally. That's something Oblivion implemented is incremental bonuses and abilities to your skills, Skyrim continued it.

The big thing is that later entries did not tie success to equipment nearly as much as daggerfall did - weapons giving insane hit chance bonuses, armor being a pass or fail armor class check. In a standard game of daggerfall skills really don't seem to matter terribly much unless you're a mage or thief.

l3lessed
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by l3lessed »

Daggerfall and Skyrim both have skills, and allow you to choose what skills to increase or decrease. The large difference is Skyrim allows you access to all skills, no matter your creation setup, and has no/very little chance based mechanics around skills and how they apply; Daggerfall forces you to either choose a class to get access to a set of skills or create a custom class so you can choose your limited skill sets and uses all chance based mechanics for skill applications in game, but you can never access all the character skills available at once.

I have always liked skyrims system better, despite playing the OG daggerfall when it come out as a kid. I like having smaller amount of skill sets to sink into and then using perks, stats, and other modifiers to create the specific class/play style you want, like skyrim. This encourages more creativity and rewards more complicated thinking while simplifying how the mechanics look and work for the player themselves. As an example, I played a redguard swash buckler in Skyrim. I balanced health, stamina, and magic at the same amount, then dumped points into shield, one handed, bow, destruction, healing, and sneaking. It was a fun versatile class to play, but something like this would be very hard to recreate in Daggerfall because of how slotted you are from level 1.

I would love to see something like this recreated in Daggerfall. I don't know how we could simplify down the skill tree without breaking the game mechanics or code in ways. I do know how we could create a perk system though, using the built in HUD UI object manager and the players skills. As always though, it just takes the man hours to code it and get the UI interface setup for perks and deciding what perks there are and how balanced they are.
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daggerdude
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by daggerdude »

The biggest thing that needs to happen is skills need to make more sense. Nothing meaningful can really change with the gameplay unless a TOTAL overhaul on how skill works occurs within the logic systems used in other elder scrolls games.

Daggerfall combat factors weapons and armor into AC and hitchance massively, to the point of hardly taking skill into account. Dodge is a joke, Critical strike doesn't multiply damage, and attributes have a questionable effect on combat other than strength and the damage modifier.

D&D you roll a D20, and check that against Armor Class to score a hit. Your character would have some modifiers to strength and weapon skill, say +2 on a 14 checking a armor class of 18. You fail to hit that number, you miss or he blocks or whatever.
But if you hit, you hit for full damage. plate or leather, doesn't matter, you take full damage. That might make sense for pen and paper but daggerfall handled this terribly.

So instead of having armor restrictions, your skills should directly control armor efficiency (50% at 0 and 100% at 100) and armor should instead offer damage reduction instead of hit chance/fail values.

Weapon skills are ok as of now, as they do factor in a lot, but are overshadowed by item bonuses... all the item bonuses should be left out, again a carry on from D&D where +1 mace would give you +1 to a d20 roll to hit and also +1 damage. So all that junk should be cut out, seriously.

Critical strikes should actually be partially based on class type, like arena, and partly on skill, like battlespire - at level 30 an assassin should have a base chance to critical, say 1% every level up to 30% vs thieves 1% ever other level up to 15% and then mages and warriors NOT having that bonus unless they borrow from the thief base class. And then the skill would offer up to 25% at level 100 of a chance, and at 0 would offer 0%.

Dodges should be a 25% chance to avoid damage, and like arena handled criticals this too should be handled by class in a similar way, but also with a skill that would offer something similar, and agility offering a 2% bonus ever modifier - making a base chance for an agile assassin to dodge 65% of the time with max skills and attributes.

Backstabs should be merged with criticals.

Block should be a chance to block with your weapon (50% damage reduction) or a shield (100% damage reduction) that would be 25% at skill 100, and then the shield in question, block giving bonus armor reduction to body parts it covers like in daggerfall.

If that happened, the rest of the skills would make more sense to reorder and the classes as well to the arena/skyrim type.

So, arena's predefined chances of criticals and an added dodge chance and a soft restriction on weapons and armor - a super negative to leveling in forbidden skills on top on the normal non class skills, but bonuses to class skills based on a specialization emphasizing combat, magic, or stealth, like in oblivion.

Imagine if classes chose 7-9 major skills (each category would need a set amount with warriors being 100% combat, thieves being 100% stealth, Mages being 100% magic). That's what i'm thinking. Oblivion and Skyrim skills, morrowind combat, arena class restrictions and modifiers, and daggerfall skills reimagined.

l3lessed
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by l3lessed »

I agree with everything, other than chance based blocking. Why are you wanting to move everything from chance based, including how armor works, but for some reason want a random chance based blocking and parrying system? Seems counter intuitive to me. But, I get that gameplay and fun are very subjective constructs.

Also, no, on the class restrictions. I hate them. No one in real life is ever rammed into a specific role their whole life; people can specialize their whole life, yes, but people can also go from being a fighter, to an archer, to a scholar, all within years. But again, my preference.

The one idea I have for how skills could be managed more like Skyrim is by creating a whole separate skill point system that drops the current skills into groups, like you show. Then, instead of raising individual skills, you raise the group skill, and it raises all the skills within that group at the same time. However, you then run into mechanics and balancing issues, and also, how do you manage the character creation screen and process (I have no idea on this at all, or if we can even overhaul the character creation and start-up process like Skyrim and fallout mods have done. But this would be my preference, as it makes sense. In real life, skills transfer over in soft ways; get good at using one type of one handed sword, you can transfer allot of those learned skills to another one handed weapon.
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Mythraen
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by Mythraen »

daggerdude wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:06 am There are 9 language skills, all nearly useless in the original game. Why not divide them up into types?
While I have a lot of history with Daggerfall, I've never played super deep into the game. My actual largest amount of experience was with a demo disc, in fact. I played that demo a lot, though.
So, with the understanding that I might be ignorant...

Are language skills even good enough to warrant being more than one single skill? Maybe call it "Linguistics."
For that matter, are they even good enough to warrant being a single skill?

Can their usefulness be expanded? I mean, maybe you could get the monster to fight for you, but is that something that already exists, or would someone have to code that from scratch?
What about... "the [insert monster name] wanders over and hands you an item before departing"?

I really wonder what the developers originally intended for this set of skills.

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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by l3lessed »

Language skill is central to pacifying enemies in the game; You pretty much load up these skills as a way to try and completely avert physical battles where you can. The higher the skill, the more likely you can talk with that enemy, the less likely they will see you as an enemy since you can talk with them, the higher the chance you pacify them so you don't have to fight them. At this point, you could then start dragging hostile enemies to pacified ones to clear dungeons without engaging in combat at all some times. :lol: . Gave you a more diplomatic way of engaging dungeons and enemies.

This being said, those skills are still pretty useless compared to all others you can sink points into. They need reworked for sure. The one way I could see them being made useful is my next mod idea to be honest. We need players to be able to recruit followable, commandable npcs, like in modern beth games. If we had this, then linguistic skills become very interesting and worth the dump. You could add tons of interesting mechanics, like recruiting town npcs guards using gold with linguistics making it cost less and less to recruit/pay them. You could add a check to see if you could turn a pacified enemy into a full npc follower that is then attacked by city folk, if you bring them with you home.
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phantasmald
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by phantasmald »

Having so many language skills allows you to create a complete pacifist character (with 0 combat ability). Or create a character who is friendly with one very specific creature type.
Basically allows you to roleplay as a pure diplomat. Something that wouldn't be possible if they were clumped together.

There's of course room for improvement. For example, the individual skills have very skewed usefulness. Some of them, like Daedric or Giantish*, cover multiple, very frequent enemies, while there are ones like Spriggan that only govern a single enemy type which is probably also the rarest having an overall encounter rate of like .23%.

Tbh it's worth mentioning that in my experience the majority of these enemies don't really drop any good loot, the most you are loosing out on by taking the pacifist route is like 2-3 alchemy ingredient in my experience (although I am using Unleveled loot atm). The major exceptions are Humans (Etiquette or Streetwise), Orcs and maaaybe Daedra(?). [They are also like one of the 5 most recurrent enemy types, the other 2 being animals and undead]
Which kinda means that the 3 language skills that are the most useful belong to the 3 most valuable enemy types that you'd probably want to fight for their loot. Tho tbh even if you want to fight an enemy pacifying them is not useless, since it allows you to get close safely and into prime backstabbing position.

Etiquette is pretty bonkers powerful btw, in addition to dealing with humans it can also pacify Vampires and Liches, which is pretty significant late game when all the dungeons start to be chock full of them, especially MQ dungeons. :B

There are a few enemies that are not governed by language skills, specifically animals, lycanthropes, non-daedric atronachs and low-tier undead. Most of these make sense as they are generally nonsapient or feral creaures, uninterested in pleasantries; they can be neutralized by spells tho, so there's a way to get by them peacefully still.

Personally I think the real root of the problem is that some other systems are just not sophisticated enough and so the best way to improve the usefulness of languages is by improving other sytems:
- Pickpocket for example: if it opened an inventory screen instead of just randomly generating X gold(?) then you'd feel less pressured to kill for loot.
- Dialogue: if you could talk to pacified enemies and the dialogue system was less copy-paste generic lines then it'd feel more rewarding to take the peaceful route. - probably too ambitious idea tho
- New enemies: having one or two more enemies per language types would make them less niche (adding stuff like Minotaurs - Centaur skill, Hagraven - Harpy skill, Land Dreugh - ?, would need art tho)
- Quest - tie the skills into them. A quest to pacify a rampaging giant, the peaceful way? Quest to help some quarrelling peasants sort out their differences, success depending on your personality/language skills? etc.

Tho there is one change that I'd do to the languages themselves: merge Spriggan into Nymph and replace it with Tame, a skill that affects animals.

* Giants and Gargoyles. Tbh, I'm not sure if this a DFU change or was true in the original. I believe Hazelnut was the one who implemented the languages, so maybe he can answer that question. I know he changed how humans were goverened by only the Etiquette in the original, but not sure what else.

Regnier
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Re: What if Daggerfall was a little more like skyrim and arena with classes and skills?

Post by Regnier »

I agree an overhaul of skills is in order.

As an alternative the skills could act like guild ranks. As you level up you gain better abilities.

For example anybody can climb a wall but having the skills means youll be able to do it faster, easier, you can move sideways, and you can attack from the wall etc.
Any body can dodge but the skill allows you to knockback an enemy, disarm an opponent, stun an enemy, and have the enemy 'spinning' to where you can backstab.
Which leads to backstabbing. It would allow paralyzing the opponent if it didnt kill, stealing health/fatigue or magicka, invisibility for a few seconds after a kill.

Maybe that would change them too drastically but it would certainly add a reason to select them and make the classes even more roleplayish

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